Title: The Replaced
Author: Kimberly Derting
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Series: Taking (Book #2)
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages
ISBN-10: 006229363X (HarperTeen)
ISBN-13: 978-0062293633 (HarperTeen)
Reviewed by: Kaitlin
The gripping second installment in the Taking trilogy is perfect for fans of The Fifth Wave and the Body Finder series. Explosive and romantic, with creepy, otherworldly elements and twisty, psychological thrills, The Replaced will have you questioning what exactly it means to be human.
Kyra hasn’t been the same since she returned from her mysterious five-year disappearance. Now, on the run from the NSA, Kyra is forced to hide out with others who, like her, have been Returned. Yet she is determined to find Tyler, the boy she loves who was also abducted . . . all because of her. When her group intercepts a message that Tyler might still be alive, Kyra risks everything to get him back. But he is being held by a shadowy government organization that experiments on the Returned, and going after him puts the rest of the group in danger. Even if Kyra gets Tyler back, the fight to save him—and the rest of the Returned—is just beginning.
Quick & Dirty: Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as I did the previous one. I couldn’t connect with the main character and resented the extra love interest who was added in.
Opening Sentence: Dead.
Spoilers for the first book! In The Taking, Kira realized that aliens abducted her and took five years from her. She’s not the only one who’s been stolen away, but she is the only one who has been gone longer than a couple days. When Tyler was infected by the fatal disease in her blood, she took the last chance she had to save him, and tried to give him to the aliens in the hopes they could heal him. It worked, and he, too, was taken. But it’s been weeks without sign of him and Kira is crazy with worry. Not only that, but she’s beginning to realize what makes her different from the rest of the returned. She has a mysterious power that she finds hard to control and her old nemesis seems resistant to all her attempts to assuage him. To find Tyler, Kira will do whatever it takes. But when she finds him, will he be the same?
I read The Taking last year. I had been intrigued by the original plotline and awesome main character, Kira, and loved the romance with Tyler. When I got the opportunity to review The Replaced, I scooped it up, excited to continue the story. In the first, it was a nice entry into the series, but there was a lot of information left out. Why are the aliens taking humans? What do they plan to do with the returned? I was excited to answer a couple of those questions in the sequel. Although there was a couple questions answered, there were more that developed, and I’m not sure how everything could be answered in a third book. In the end, it was an okay read, but I think I enjoyed The Taking more: I’m not sure what it was, but I didn’t find The Replaced as gripping as The Taking was, or engaging.
Kira is still a badass heroine, but I didn’t care for her as much this book. In book one, I felt connected to her plight. The book moved at a steady pace and her emotions were easy to sink into. This novel, I found that the pace was less stable and more action packed, and that Kira was harder for me to connect with for whatever reason. One thing I did like about her in the story was her powers. She was watching them develop and doing her best to control them but was having difficulties. Through all of that she remained determined to figure them out in order to be safe around her friends and loved ones. I think my lack of connection to Kira was a major reason that this book fell a little flat for me, especially when I expected so much after the killer first novel.
In The Taking, I loved her love interest, Tyler. He was sweet, friendly, and he was a good listener. He would do anything for Kira. Their relationship developed adorably and I totally approved. Unfortunately, in this novel, something of a love triangle springs up which annoyed to me no end. I didn’t even like the guy who was the second option, Simon. It was basically “since Tyler isn’t around I guess you’re a good second choice!” I mean, come on. Tyler never would have given up on Kira were it him in her shoes and he deserved that kind of loyalty from her. At least wait a year or two before moving on, not months. This really messed up how I looked at Kira, and I lost respect for her the instant she began to feel something for him.
For all my complaining, there were things I enjoyed about this book. You finally realize what happened to Kira up there and the difference between her and the other returned. There are a couple other questions answered, and a nifty cliffhanger sets up a next book nicely. There were some good action scenes and a couple big revelations, though they were somewhat predictable. Nevertheless, I felt let down by this novel. The writing felt simpler in a way and the whole book was more rushed. I get that the story has to speed up book two, but I wish that I could have followed along better. One thing that I will say is that the cover to The Replaced is as gorgeous as The Taking‘s was and you should try it out if you liked the first book, if only for the cover. Maybe your feelings will be different!
Where were the fireflies when you needed them?
“Get off at the next exit!” Jeff announced franticly from the front seat. He snapped the laptop shut and was waving wildly toward the right side of the jam-packed highway. “Get over! Start signaling now. We need to get off as soon as possible!”
This couldn’t be good. “Why? What is it?”
“It’s us,” Jett answered, twisting in his seat so her could face us all. “They’ve got roadblocks up ahead and they’re looking for us.”
The Taking Series:
1. The Taking
2. The Replaced
FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of The Replaced. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.